5 May 2015
The EPO has welcomed the decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) dismissing the legal challenges to the unitary patent package.
This confirms that the European patent with unitary effect will be based on the procedure for granting European patents laid down in the European Patent Convention and that all implementing measures for the unitary patent are to be taken by the participating member states in the Select Committee of the Administrative Council of the EPO. Work in the Select Committee has progressed very well, and the EPO is confident that all necessary steps, including a decision on the level of the renewal fees, will be taken in the coming months.
The decisions of the Court were published today, while a delegation from the European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee (JURI), headed by its chairman, Pavel Svoboda, was visiting EPO headquarters in Munich. EPO President Benoît Battistelli emphasised the great significance of the decisions: “With its rulings the Court has created the necessary legal certainty for participating EU member states as well as for users of the European patent system, and, after more than 40 years, paves the way towards truly uniform patent protection in Europe.”
The EPO also expressed its hope that the judgments will give new impetus to the process of ratification and implementation of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement, and that the unitary patent package can come into operation in the course of 2016.